Let’s read Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, our 2019 Book of the Summer. It’s a story of community, acceptance, and hope. Get involved by coming to a program, starting your own book club with friends or family, or sharing your thoughts on Twitter! #BALBookOfTheSummer

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Her crow friend Bongo and other animals seek refuge in Red's hollows, as the wishtree watches over the neighborhood. It seems Red has seen it all…until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.

Attend our Wishtree programs! To register or find more information, check out our online calendar.

StoryWalk®: Picture a Tree
All ages w/caregiver | Drop in
Friday, June 7, 10:30 AM (1 hour)

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Page Turners Book Club
Grades 3 - 6
Thursday, June 20, 4 PM (1 hour)
Monday, July 22, 4 PM

Family Nature Walk
All ages w/caregiver
Friday, June 28, 10:30 AM


Family Book Club
All ages w/caregiver
Wednesday, June 26, 7 PM
Sunday, August 4, 2 PM

Family Volunteering Day at Smart Farm
All ages w/caregiver
Thursday, July 18, 10 AM - 12 PM
Thursday, August 8, 10 AM - 12 PM

Form your own book club! Get started with our guide.

Discussion Questions:
• Why is Red important to the neighborhood? To the animals? To Samar?

• Why do you think the neighborhood doesn’t make Samar and her family feel welcomed? How do you think you would act towards her?

• Why do you think it’s easier for Samar to make friends with animals than other children? Do you ever think it’s easier to talk to a pet than another person? Why or why not?

• Why do you think the boy carves the word into Red’s bark? How does this affect the characters - Red, Bongo, Samar, and her family? How does this affect the whole community?

• Why does Francesca want to cut Red down? How does Red react to this news?

• Red wonders, “How does friendship happen?” (p. 82). How would you answer this question? Does it happen on its own, or do you have to work for it?

• Stephen says, “My parents aren’t bad people. They’re just...afraid of things” (p. 125). How can fear cause people to act? What do you think can help people feel less of afraid of things they don’t know or understand?

• Red says, “I wanted to make a difference, just a little difference, before I left this lovely world” (p. 126). What difference does Red make? What can you do to make a difference in this world?

Activity Ideas:
• Take a nature walk, in a park, forest preserve, or your neighborhood, with a friend or family member. Talk about the trees you see. Do they seem to have different “personalities”? Which trees do you like the most?

• Is there anyone who moved into your neighborhood recently? Try to make them feel welcomed by delivering a care package or note.

• Find an organization that assists people in need. See if you or your family can help in any way, with volunteering, donations, or sharing the word with friends.

• Start a leaf collection; glue, trace, or draw the leaves you find. Use a guidebook to identify the trees they come from, or this online resource.

• Create a portrait of Red, or a tree that’s special to you. Use whatever materials inspire you.

• Add a wish to the library’s Wishtree art, in the Youth Department.

• Make a pledge to welcome people with different backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, or abilities. See the Wishtree printable poster for inspiration.

Keep reading! Finished Wishtree? Looking for more great books? Try one of these.